January 18, 2021
I read a very good write up called “Is Elasticsearch No Longer Open Source Software?” The write up contains a helpful summary of the history of Elastic and its Lucene-based search solution. Plus the inhospitable territory of open source licensing gets a review as well. To boil down the write up does not do it justice, so navigate to the source document and read it first hand.
I noted a couple of passages which I found suggestive.
First, here’s a comment which strikes me as relevant to the Bezos bulldozer’s approach to low or no cost, high utility software:
if you want to provide Elasticsearch on a SaaS basis, you have to release any code that you use to do this: in Amazon’s case this could mean all the management layers that go into providing Elasticsearch on Amazon Web Services (AWS), so I doubt this is going to happen.
My view is that Elastic and its management team want to put some sand in the bulldozer’s diesel fuel. The question is, “WWAD” or “What will Amazon do?” Some of the options available to Amazon are likely to be interesting. The specific series of actions Amazon pursues will be particularly thrilling.
Second, another passage I circled was:
Smaller SaaS providers without Amazon’s resources will have to decide whether to do a deal with Elastic or Amazon to continue to offer a hosted Elasticsearch.
Based on my limited understanding of the legal hoo-hah with open source legal nuances, I think a customer will have to make a choice. Ride the bulldozer or go with the Son of Compass search. (Yep, that would be Elastic.)
For me, my meanderings through open source and enterprise search sparked these thoughts:
Open source, open code, open anything: Sounds too good to be true. For some situations, enterprise search’s DNA will surface and the costs can be tricky enough to make an accountant experience heart burn. And the lawyers? Those folks send invoices. The users? Search is a utility. The companies appropriating and making their solution proprietary? Mostly happy campers. And the open source “developers”? Yikes.
Stephen E Arnold, January 18, 2021
Comments First, here’s a comment which strikes me as relevant to the Bezos bulldozer’s approach to low or no cost, high utility software: